NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) A 10 year old rescued Cairn terrier is about to ‘Ease On Down The Road’ to stardom.
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His name is Scooter and he’s the new Toto in ‘The Wiz Live!’ (Thursday, December 3rd at 8 p.m. ET on NBC). He and his brother Ralphie are the latest ‘wags to riches’ story for Bill Berloni, who has trained just about every dog whose ever appeared on Broadway. In fact, Scooter and Ralphie follow in a long line of rescued four legged actors, beginning with the original Sandy in the 1977 production of ‘Annie’. Berloni heads the company Theatrical Animals which also gave us, among others, the bulldog and chihuahua in Legally Blonde, the Bumpus hounds in A Christmas Story, the pomeranian in ‘Bullets Over Broadway’, Toto in the 2009 Encores! revival of The Wiz and Bowdie, the dog that stole the show on TV last year, as Nana in ‘Peter Pan Live!’on NBC.
This year, it’s Scooter’s turn, with Ralphie waiting in the wings, because, after all, even four legged actors need an understudy. Berloni adopted them from Cairn Rescue USA in Chicago after being summoned by the producers of ‘The Wiz Live!’ to find the next Toto. Berloni notes that in the original movie The Wizard of Oz, Toto was played by a black cairn terrier, while in the original 1975 stage production of The Wiz, the dog had white fur. In this production, Berloni chuckled as he told 1010 WINS, the producers wanted a beige dog, and he hit the jackpot when he found these…